So, we know that the concept of linking gamification to improving employee wellness that has taken shape over recent years, the idea of walking 10,000 steps a day and beating your colleagues to health but now a new development around this concept has got me intrigued.

Opposed to the "big brother is watching you" approach to performance, innovative companies like Dropbox are developing an individual motivating persona for employees - like those used for online fantasy gaming platforms.

This allows Dropbox to connect with their younger workforces via an "experience" based platform. This enables the organisations to connect with them on a virtual personal level. The thought of me chatting to a non- judgemental persona online to improve my performance in wellness and work is both a disturbing and an intriguing idea!

I enjoy yoga, running and general wellness and this new personalised approach learns my personality trait, my interests and motivations for wellness then uses this knowledge through smart software analysis to provide appropriate styled motivation and goals for performance in my workplace - my own online "Game of Me" so to speak!

The key to this innovative idea is the giant leap in Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI software can now easily and accurately self -learn what specifically inspires, motivates and engages an individual employee compared to the other 10,000 employees in the workforce. By taking the individual's approach to wellness and integrating this into their work performance or goals it potentially creates a very powerful motivating tool for employees."Think of the last time you played a game you really enjoyed and won (and yes I love winning!) It makes you feel great! Dr. Michael Wu, a world recognised social scientist "There are a number of behavioural and motivational principles at play when we’re in "play".

The results from this approach (limited due to its early days) are compelling: interactive marketing firm NextJump based in NY wanted to increase wellness and engagement between management teams to improve performance. They installed in-house gyms and then ran a standard gamification wellness programme. After a brief period, they then began applying personalised gamification with AI features that went beyond the normal "teams, leaderboards and competition" ideas. These included personalised goals and work performance related goals and suddenly the engagement from management skyrocketed from 12% to 70%. Talk about a game changer!So maybe we have a new holistic workplace landscape ahead, an utopia where all your employees have access to their biometric data, track their fitness. They can work towards better health in a fun and engaging way while at the same time it is embedded and linked in with their workplace goals, KPI's and performance motivation.

The idea is to identify whether the individual is even motivated by competition and if so what type. Perhaps the user enjoys reaching personal/work goals through real-time social reinforcement messaging and the encouragement of daily action items by the program itself and by other users. Perhaps on the flip side, this user becomes de-motivated by the constant comparison to peers?

Currently, most generalised games in wellness use a generic guideline – the 10,000 steps per day challenge type of thing – rather than personalised milestones. While promoting activity is crucial, the number of steps should vary depending on initial fitness and health levels. It could also be that the individual isn’t interested in walking/running but prefers swimming, yoga, or cycling. Maybe the user has a goal to ride the Round Taupo race, paddle a kilometre on a SUP at the beach, just improve the quality of a limb movement, or to increase their best swimming interval.

Personalized gamification can allow an individual to engage in a goal, in this case, a fitness goal that interests them in a way that motivates them. By understanding their personal motivation AI can integrate the same approach to work goals and suddenly performance goes up.

This got me thinking about my team and what motivates them and even my own personal motivators!

So, are you motivated by deadlines or rewards?